Stake.com, a cryptocurrency gambling enterprise, co-founded by Australian billionaire Ed Craven, is encountering legal obstacles as it endeavors to expand its presence in the Australian gambling market.
Stake.com promotes itself as a premier platform for betting with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether, and dogecoin. Offering a variety of options including sports event betting and virtual games such as slots, blackjack, and roulette, Stake.com has gained significant attention since its establishment in 2017.
However, a Sydney-based share trading platform named HelloStake.com has initiated legal proceedings in the Federal Court against the crypto gambling firm.
Court documents suggest that HelloStake.com alleges the crypto casino's use of the “Stake” brand infringes upon its established brand recognition in Australia.
HelloStake.com, which enables locals to invest in US stocks, contends that the crypto casino's use of the same name has caused confusion among Australian customers, leading them to erroneously assume a connection between the two distinct entities.
With the global online wagering industry valued at nearly $64bn in 2022, the growing appetite for gambling in Australia presents a lucrative opportunity for Stake.com. The country's gambling trend has seen a rise from 7% in 2018 to 11% in 2021, accounting for approximately 2.8m individuals.
In July it was revealed that Stake.com is seeking to expand its operations by applying for a bookmaking license in Australia's Northern Territory.
While facing competition from established players like Sportsbet and Ladbrokes, Stake.com aims to access the regulated Australian market and also has an ongoing application for an iGaming license in Canada's Ontario province.
At the end of June, Stake.com CEO Ed Craven also announced that the company is preparing to enter the regulated US market through a significant undisclosed acquisition.
Following the announcement, speculations emerged that Rush Street Interactive (RSI) was being considered as a potential candidate as RSI's regulatory compliance and licenses align well with Stake.com’s requirements.
Stake.com, while headquartered in Curaçao, has operated from within Australia. Despite its success, it has faced other legal challenges. Previously, Stake.com founders Craven and American partner Bijan Tehrani were targeted by a $400m lawsuit by a former business associate, Christopher Freeman.
However, the founders of Stake.com successfully evaded the claim by Freeman, which alleged that Freeman had been excluded from the business and deceived by Tehrani and Craven.
The US court dismissed the claim for lack of jurisdiction, comparing the situation to the Facebook origin story depicted in “The Social Network.” Freeman has been granted the opportunity to amend his claim or potentially file a lawsuit in Australia.